Run on 22 May, 2011
After a few days sailing, the Medici reached the town of Madagascar. Captain Margrite allowed the pilot boat to lead them to the dock, and the small crowd at the helped the boat to dock.
They were hailed by John Hawkins,who identified himself as the captain of the Queen’s Legacy, and welcomed them to Madagascar. Captain Hawkins explained that the whale pod had signaled them from the deep sea, and seemed somewhat disappointed when Gian explained that they were aware that whales could communicate across the ocean. He invited them to come and meet the town elders, which Captain Margrite acquiesced to, and invited his passengers to come along. Captain Hawkins (with Margrite’s persmission) presented a cask of ale to the crew of the Medici. Birdie sampled it and found it unusual (it was brewed from rice) but palatable, and requested that he meet with the brewer. The party split in three, with most of the crew, and John Morgan, staying aboard the ship. The Captain, the Duke and his retinue, and Dr. Smith went to meet the village elders, and Birdie, Randy, Jason and Priscilla went to meet the brewers and discuss provisioning the ship.
The trip to visit the elders was enlightening, in it’s own way, but the most exciting part of it by far was when Dr. Smith spotted a “Madagascar Donkey”:
Click to view Wikipedia entry. By Conty (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The elders were just exactly that, elders, the youngest of them was in his mid seventies, the oldest must have been pushing ninety, and a bit on the dotty side. They wanted to be filled in on world history since the Madagascar had last sailed the seas of Earth. Gian did his best to gently inform them that it had been over a hundred and fifty years, not the fifty they had experienced there. Mrs. Brown (widow of the Reverend Brown, the islands only clergyman) made some rather smug comments to her comrades at this, apparently they had encountered some previous refugees, some few years after they founded the ‘town’, who had left Earth eighteen years after them. Comparing notes, all three ships seemed to have fallen afoul of a whirlpool off the straits of Gibraltar.
The Widow Brown seemed to take quite an interest in Dr. Smith, as a man of learning. The Elders as a whole were eager to hear about the state of the Earth in the years since they left it. Duke Visconti obliged them by summarizing world history since the middle of the Victorian era, with major abridgements around the subject of the World Wars, and little mention of technological advances.
Meanwhile, Birdie and most of the film crew followed Bryce Jones to the Inn. There they met Kombu, the emissary of the Sea Folk, and his wife, Grace Redmond. They discussed matters relating to provisioning the ship, and Kombu explained that there was a difficulty with the Queens Legacy (the only full out ship still functional in Madagascar) related to the quality of the rope. They discussed the possibility of the RS Medici obtaining good quality hemp seed for the town. Birdie suggested that he might have a source for high quality hemp seed.
They got a tour of the town. There were a great many fishermen about, and Bryce explained that many of them were actually sailors, out of work due to Captain Hawkins reducing the number of trips the Queen’s Legacy took. Throughout the tour, Bryce spoke of Hawkins as being the Captain, though Kombu had implied that the Legacy was his ship. They also got to visit the Donkey stables, and see the Rabbits.
(A good sized rabbit weighs about fifty pounds, about the size of a keeshond or small collie.)
The two groups reunited that evening for a feast (mostly fish and rabbit, some unfamiliar green vegetables with some berries and root vegetables thrown in). There was a great deal of dancing, from various traditions. Sydney spent much of the evening observing the way the various cultures (English predominant, but there were substantial peoples of Asian origin, who blended in well, and Basque, who did not), and explained to her shipmates that they way they behaved at this party was likely to matter. First impressions would be irrevocable. Randy got himself quickly and thoroughly drunk. Priscella danced like a madwoman, and created some tension between Randy and Jason, then made a new friend. Birdie spent the evening sharing liquor from the Medici and dancing. Hassan managed to get on the bad side of a belligerant drunk, but Gian intervened diplomatically.
All in all, a pleasant evening was had by all.